Flu cases on the rise in the Midlands


LEXINGTON, SC (WACH) -- Doctor Daniel Avosso said he's seeing a lot of patients coming into Lexington Medical Center with flu symptoms and it doesn't seem to be slowing down.

DHEC officials said out of the 15 flu deaths in the state, 13 of them were people 65 or older. Almost half were in the Midlands. "We're probably in the middle of one of the worst pandemic that we've seen since at least 2009, 2010 season,” Avosso said.

The virus goes through a 1 to 4 day incubation period, and during that time it can spread. "You could have the flu a day before you even know it,” Avosso said. “You can transmit the flu a day before you even know it."

Things like, washing your hands, staying away from sick people, and being careful what you touch in public could lower your risk. "Parents, little children, folks who are immune compromised, if you have COPD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease] and you get the flu,” Avosso said. “It’s a lot worse than if you're young and healthy."

So far, Lexington Medical has reported more than 50 cases of the flu already this month. They reported more than 500 in December.

State health officials said the flu is widespread throughout the state with some of the highest numbers coming from Richland and Lexington county. "It's not just important that they get the vaccine,” Avosso said. “It's important people around them get the vaccine, and it's not too late.”

While there's no clinical way to distinguish a cold from the flu your local Urgent Care can test you for it. Doctor Avosso said the flu vaccine is safe for pregnant woman and lowers the risk for you and your unborn child.

For more information about how to protect yourself just click here.

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